Financial Ombudsman Service  

Fos has 'not received huge number' of CMC complaints, chief says

Fos has 'not received huge number' of CMC complaints, chief says
Nausicaa Delfas, interim chief executive and chief ombudsman at the Fos

The Financial Ombudsman Service interim chief has said its complaints around claims management companies are not a “huge number” in comparison to its overall complaints.

Speaking to FTAdviser last week (December 2), Nausicaa Delfas, interim chief executive and chief ombudsman at the Fos, said the body was working on building relationships across the industry to tackle complaints.

She said: “We can see complaints against the CMCs although they're not a huge number compared to our total number of complaints, but they are nonetheless important. We look at those and also any cases that are brought to us by CMCs.

“That is an area of jurisdiction, but it's not a very substantial one.”

The Financial Conduct Authority assumed control of CMC regulation in 2019, taking over from the Claims Management Regulator, and received requests from more than 900 companies to continue trading under its control.

Last week, Fos published an action plan setting out how it will improve its delivery for customers and provide help to resolve cases more efficiently.

The Fos said it would use "intelligent automation" to speed up the complaints handling process, for example by using technology to convert digitally submitted complaints directly into case files.

Delfas said the ombudsman service's role was to make decisions on individual circumstances in individual cases, but also where there are issues that have a wider impact.

“We're building on our relationships with the regulators and industry so that we can make sure that we share insights and knowledge together and for that reason, we are reinvigorating the wider implications process to enable that to happen,” she said.

“We are part of a wider financial ecosystem so whilst we are independent, we're not alone. It's important that we engage with those other parties and that's part of the action plan is that we are boosting those engagements with our stakeholders.”

Delfas defended the body's decision to make 200 redundancies earlier this year across its "mass claims department", despite a backlog of complaints, stating its intention was always to resize after it had completed the bulk of payment protection insurance complaints.

The ombudsman is facing a backlog of about 50,000 complaints. 

sonia.rach@ft.com

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